#1 Edited by EVO (3941 posts) -

Anyone on here ride a motorbike? For the past few years, I've been wanting to get my license. I'm going for my first lesson soon and I'm hoping to be riding by the end of the month. Here's my story, it's a long one:

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I imagine my quest to ride a motorbike began like most people.

It's something we've all probably experienced: a traffic jam. As a child, this was fucking torture. Cars bumper to bumper, backed up for miles, inching forward for what seems liked an eternity. Watching in envy as a motorcyclist carefully weaved his way through the traffic and thinking "I wish I was that guy".

Years later, in Tokyo of all places, I was that guy.

While over there I met this guy in [to put this as least gay as possible] the bathroom of some pub. We shared a common taste in footwear: Vans. And naturally, a common hobby in skateboarding. He invited me back to drink with his friends and over a bottle of hot sake we formed an unlikely friendship considering the vast language barrier. I ended up shit faced and passed out in the toilet.

He called me at midnight a few days later and invited me out for a drink with his friends. We somehow arranged a meeting place and when I got there I was stoked to see him waiting for me, leaning against a scooter. He handed me a helmet and off we rode in the to a pub where once again we proceeded to get shit faced.

Days later, we went shopping for a skateboard in Shibuya. If you're unfamiliar with Shibuya:

The day we rode through that intersection, clinging on to the back of his scooter, for a moment I was that guy being looked at in envy as we passed cars by. It was not only one of my best times in Tokyo, but my entire life.

A few years later, I had another experience I'll never forget: riding around Bintan Island on a scooter.

Paradise.

Only this time, it was me behind the handlebars. I enjoyed it so much, that when my family had a day to just do our own thing, I choose hire a scooter and ride around the island again. It was liberating.

But it wasn't until a few years ago, when my grandpa passed away that I really wanted to ride a motorbike. He owned a number of bikes, and fortunately my mum inherited one of them:

A DKW 125, I think

From the moment I sat on that bike, I had to have it. My parents were absolutely against the idea. They hated the thought of me riding a motorbike.

"It's too dangerous", they'd say. Or "it needs a lot of work done".

For months I bugged them. I even offered to pay for all the repairs. Occasionally I'd take off it's covers and just sit on it in the car port, picturing an open highway ahead of me. Eventually, my mum gave it to her brother. And my dreams of riding it were extinguished. UPDATE: Turns out it's been sitting in the shed all along. Over the next few years I'd love to get it restored back to it's former glory.

Then came Tron: Evolution.

Of all the memorable scenes in that movie, that opening sequence really resonated with me. It sparked the same envy I felt as a kid sitting in traffic. It rekindled the flame, so to speak. And like those classic scenes in The Great Escape and Easy Rider, it inspired others.

So when my mum asked me a few weeks ago what I wanted for Christmas, I said "a motorbike lesson".

Am I scared? A little. I know motorcyclists are way more likely to die than car drivers. I've heard stories of experienced riders losing control of their bikes around corners for no apparent reason. I watched a documentary recently about a guy in need of a liver transplant or something. He recalled his time at the hospital and how the doctors there refer to motorcyclists as "donors". When he asked the doctor how long it would take for a transplant, the doctor looked out the window to the rain falling and replied, "about 5 minutes".

When I do get my license, it's possible that every time I hop on my bike, I could end up an organ donor. But it's that element of danger that drew me to motorbikes in the first place as a child. Watching that motorcyclist carefully squeeze his way through traffic, narrowly avoiding mirrors. Cheating the traffic jam and when it cleared up, cheating death.

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So, that's my story. Any motorcyclists or prospective motorcyclists out there want to share theirs?

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UPDATE: I had my first lesson a few days ago. It was daunting at first, but I picked it up pretty quick. Only stalled once. Now I'm booked in to get my license on Monday. I'm hoping to get this bad boy on the weekend:

2011 Suzuki TU250X

My brother thinks I should get a sports bike like a Ninja or CBR, but I love retro bikes and this is a great throwback.

#2 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I thought about it once, then I remembered I have grown attached to my limbs being not broken.

#3 Posted by Voshterkoff (125 posts) -
My '07 CBR600rr

Since this picture I have added a carbon fiber exhaust. What's so sad about that scene from Tron is that it hit the screens not long after the Sport 1000 was dropped from the Ducati line up. It was a nice blend of retro and sport, comfortable even for my 6'5" frame. Way better than their GT1000. I would love to have a classic 70's Honda CB but I don't have the storage room.

#4 Posted by EVO (3941 posts) -

@Voshterkoff said:

What's so sad about that scene from Tron is that it hit the screens not long after the Sport 1000 was dropped from the Ducati line up.

Really? Damn. I was considering getting one for my license.

I'm thinking of getting a Ninja, but my brother told me to get a CBR instead. I'll probably take his advice, but what I really want is an old Triumph or Norton or something. Maybe even that DKW my mum gave away.

#5 Posted by ThatFrood (3396 posts) -

I love riding my motorcycle and when spring comes around I'm sure I'll be back on it again, but man, accidents on those things are terrifying. I got in one in the fall, slammed into a usps truck that pulled out in front of me illegally. Shit didn't matter that I hadn't done anything wrong, that accident was potentially life-threatening and had I been in a car it wouldn't have been a thing.

Luckily I was relatively unharmed, but still, it definitely put things in perspective.

#6 Edited by CastroCasper (1307 posts) -

I used to ride a 1100 Honda Shadow ACE, it was a great bike but I got rid of it. I miss it everyday. Be careful, even more so if you are getting a sports bike. You dont need a big engine. I REPEAT YOU DO NOT NEED A BIG ENGINE. Something like a 600 on a sports bike would be plenty of power for a rider to grow into, and it will still get up to speed incredibly fast. Just be careful, one of my best friends died on his bike.

That bike your mom has is perfect. If i ever get a bike again thats like something I would get. I say ride that or get a Ninja. A Ducati is serious power and even more serious cash.

#7 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1733 posts) -

SPREAD YOUR LOVE LIKE A FEVERR

#8 Posted by EVO (3941 posts) -

@Kurtdyoung said:

You dont need a big engine. I REPEAT YOU DO NOT NEED A BIG ENGINE. Something like a 600 on a sports bike would be plenty of power for a rider to grow into

In Australia, we're restricted to these motorbikes for some time. Basically, anything up to 660cc.

Oh, and I just found out that bike my mum gave away.. Turns out it's sitting in the shed.

#9 Posted by EVO (3941 posts) -

Shit, I just updated my OP but it didn't bump the thread. So I'll post this instead:

Wikipedia said:

A café racer is a type of motorcycle as well as a type of motorcyclist. Both meanings have their roots in the 1960s British counterculture group the Rockers, or the Ton-up boys, although they were also common in Italy, Germany, and other European countries. In Italy, the term refers to the specific motorcycles that were and are used for short, sharp speed trips from one coffee bar to another.

Rockers were a young and rebellious Rock and Roll counterculture that wanted a fast, personalized and distinctive bike to travel between transport cafés along the newly built arterial motorways in and around British towns and cities. The goal of many was to be able to reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h)—called simply "the ton"—along such a route where the rider would leave from a café, race to a predetermined point and back to the café before a single song could play on the jukebox, called record-racing. They are remembered as being especially fond of Rockabilly music and their image is now embedded in today's rockabilly culture.

A classic example of this was to race from the Ace Cafe on the North Circular Road in northwest London to the Hanger Lane junction as it then was—it is now the more famous Hanger Lane gyratory—and back again. The aim was to get back to the Ace Cafe before the record on the jukebox had finished. Given that some of the Eddie Cochran tunes that were in vogue at this time were less than two minutes long, the racers had to make the three-mile round trip at extremely high speed.

This needs to be made into a game or a movie or something.